WITTMAN, AZ - An Arizona woman taken into custody Wednesday on animal cruelty charges has been released from jail and is speaking out about her arrest.
It is the second time Lucienne Touboul has been charged with animal cruelty for hoarding cats, but Touboul said it's the Sheriff's Office that's being cruel by putting her beloved cats to sleep.
"I love my animals and I want my animals back," demanded Touboul.
The first animal cruelty arrest happened in 2010, when deputies discovered 104 cats, including 10 being kept in the freezer, at Touboul's Wittman home.
"I don't eat the cats. Don't believe the police, the police lied," said a defensive Touboul.
Touboul admits to keeping cats in the freezer, but says she puts them there to preserve them until a helper can come to bury them in the yard.
"I don't like to put my animals in the trash. I bury them in the yard and then I pray for them," she said.
Touboul showed us pictures of her cats, and tried to explain why she keeps so many of them.
"Because nobody wants them. It's OK for me, I don't care, I am myself. If I have so many, I take care of all of them. Why would I put to sleep this one and not this one? Why?"
"I know that she tries and does the best that she can to take care of the cats," said Joel, Touboul's friend, who admits he doesn't like cats.
Joel feels the allegations of Touboul eating her cats in stew may have been misunderstood, as she often purchases "cat fish" for soup.
"So I'm thinking somewhere in there there's a translation problem as far as her eating cat soup," said Joel.
Touboul is hoping by telling her side of the story, she may be able to keep animals at her home again.
Under the condition of her 2010 arrest, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ordered that Touboul could no longer own animals. An order she violated.
Touboul faces 26 counts of animal neglect and cruelty.
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